Tiffany Walsh describes three ways she's planning for a fresh start in 2023.
Although January is not one of the more popular months in our calendar year given its association with gloomy winter weather and post-holiday blahs, it’s always had a fond place in my heart. In fact, my wedding anniversary is in early January, very near to the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, so of course this is part of my attachment! In addition to that romantic connection, though, I love the freshness that January brings.
Whether or not one enjoys making official New Year's Resolutions, January can be a time to think of new and exciting things we would like to try. New ideas are always inspiring and invigorating to me, and this applies not only to my interests and hobbies, but also to my faith life.
The proximity of the start of the New Year to the beginning of Lent is a perfect storm of fresh ideas for me. With Ash Wednesday usually falling in February each year, January is the perfect time to start to brainstorm about new ways I would like to approach that special liturgical season. This year I am feeling inspired by making my way through a self-guided retreat for Lent. One of my Christmas gifts was Set the World on Fire: A 4-Week Personal Retreat with the Female Doctors of the Church by Vinita Hampton Wright, and I set up a plan to work my way through this during Lent with a group of friends, and I am so terribly excited for this! Experiencing new things with friends always adds more meaning and significance to them, in my experience.
This year, I am also feeling inspired to challenge myself by keeping up a reading list. I don’t necessarily have a plan for what will go on the list, but as busy parents know, squeezing in reading time can be a heavy lift. I started using Goodreads again and updating my Currently Reading and Read shelves, which is motivating me to keep making progress on the books I have begun. I find reading to be an important way to engage my mind and heart. I am aiming to fit both secular and spiritual titles onto this list!
I have also had my eye on getting back to daily Mass at least one day during the work week. Back when I had small kids and worked in an office five days per week, this simply was not possible for me, but my situation is quite different now. My children are older and in school during the day, and I now work in a hybrid environment, with one to two days per week being from home. Thus, my ability to get to daily Mass has increased exponentially, and this is a devotion that transformed my faith life as a young adult. Developing consistency even on a monthly basis could be a game changer for me, and I am excited to give this a fresh go in my life.
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Whether or not one enjoys making official New Year's Resolutions, January can be a time to think of new and exciting things we would like to try. #catholicmom
Do you have any new ideas for your spiritual life for a fresh new year? I would love to hear about them in the comments!
Copyright 2023 Tiffany Walsh
About the Author
Tiffany Walsh is a wife and mother, a native western New Yorker, and a college librarian. She is a cradle Catholic who rekindled her childhood faith as a graduate student via her love of books, and is the author of Exploring the Catholic Classics, part of the Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women series. She enjoys writing about faith, crafting, dance, fitness and wellness. Visit her blog at Life of a Catholic Librarian.